Pedestrians Face Elevated Risk On Florida Roads
For many people, walking to go places is a common event, particularly in urban areas. However, this simple act can be dangerous and even lead to serious injury. The National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2021, more than 60,000 pedestrians were injured in road accidents across the United States, with far too many of those accidents occurring in Florida. If you have been in an accident on Florida roads as a pedestrian, know that you do have the right to seek compensation from the person who struck you.
While pedestrian injuries and fatalities are a problem everywhere in the country, much of Florida’s infrastructure is not well constructed for people walking. This is particularly the case in lower-income neighborhoods, where more people are likely to be pedestrians instead of owning vehicles. In an annual study of metropolitan areas in the U.S., 7 of the top 20 most dangerous were located in Florida, with the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area coming in at number 8.
The causes of pedestrian accidents in Florida are fairly straightforward, including but not limited to:
- Distracted or impaired drivers, who may not see pedestrians or may react too slowly to avoid impact;
- Speeding or otherwise breaking traffic laws; and
- Pedestrians not observing the rules of the road.
Accidents of this nature do occur more often when a driver is making a left turn, which can sometimes impact their ability to see a pedestrian, but this does not necessarily imply negligence for either party.
Can I File Suit?
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and you believe that the driver’s negligence caused you harm, you have the right to seek money damages. Florida is a no-fault state for insurance purposes, and what this means is that all Floridians are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. If your injuries are under a certain monetary threshold, you are expected to cover medical bills by filing an insurance claim instead of a lawsuit. This applies to pedestrian accidents, as well – your policy covers you, not necessarily your vehicle.
If your injuries are serious enough to pass the legal threshold, you may then file a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver. You must establish that they breached the duty of care that all road users owe to each other, and that their breach of duty was the direct cause of the injuries you suffered. It can be difficult to do this – but not impossible. Enlisting the right legal help can make the difference.
Contact An Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Being injured in an accident as a pedestrian is a frightening event, particularly if your injuries are severe. An Orlando pedestrian accident attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help you determine your legal options moving forward, and can help shoulder the load while you focus on getting life back to normal. Call our office today for a free consultation.